Japan donates R70,8m to WFP emergency operations in Southern Africa
Hats off to the Government of Japan for donating US$5-million (R70,8-million) towards the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) emergency operations in southern Africa.
Readers might recall a story carried in FleetWatch earlier this year where we outlined the concern of the UN WFP of the effects of the El Nino weather pattern on food security in the southern African region. The WFP stated that millions of people were facing hunger following prolonged dry spells.
Those fears are now reality and the timely contribution from Japan will allow WFP to provide food assistance to more than 300 000 drought-affected people in the four countries worst affected by El Nino between September and November 2016.
Mozambique is to receive US$2.7-million (R38,2-m), Malawi US$1.85-million (26,2-m), Lesotho US$250 000 (R3,5-m)and Swaziland US$200 000 (R2,8-m).
In Mozambique, Japan’s donation will allow WFP to address persisting needs and significant funding gaps while supporting community efforts towards recovery, greater resilience and ultimately progress towards Zero Hunger. The drought response in Mozambique includes emergency school feeding to 100 000 children and treatment of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) to 51 000 children and pregnant and nursing women.
During the 2015/16 growing season, Malawi was in the eye of the strongest El Niño event to hit southern Africa in 35 years causing widespread drought, primarily in the southern region of the country.
Japan’s donation will help WFP assist food-insecure households while at the same time benefit individuals and the community through the Food Assistance for Assets (FFA) programme whereby communities participate in activities such as repairing irrigation systems, building bridges, soil conservation and setting up community granaries in exchange for food vouchers or cash transfers.
Emergency food and cash assistance will also be brought into remote parts of both Lesotho and Swaziland to help hard-hit populations, while supporting the protection and rebuilding of livelihoods of food insecure households to improve their ability to withstand recurrent shocks.
Of course, transport is always required by the WFP to get the donated food to the stricken areas and in this regard, some of the donated funds will be going to the transporters involved.
“WFP deeply appreciates this generous contribution by the Japanese government at a moment when we urgently need to move huge amounts of relief assistance into
drought-hit areas – especially those which will be cut off when the rainy season starts,’’ says Chris Nikoi, regional director for southern Africa, adding that the drought emergency operation has only received 20 percent of the funding required to assist almost 12 million people across the region until next April.
The Government of Japan has been providing food support for communities in need in developing countries since 1968. During the past decade, Japan has contributed more than US$166 million (2,4-billion) to WFP’s operations in southern Africa. Thank you Japan.
WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.